A Major Role for Prostacyclin in Nitric Oxide-Induced Ocular Vasorelaxation in the Piglet

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We studied the mechanisms of retinal and choroidal vasorelaxation elicited by nitric oxide (NO) using piglet eyes. The NO donors sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and diethylamine-NONOate caused comparable concentration-dependent relaxation that was partially ([approximate]40%) attenuated by the guanylate cyclase inhibitors methylene blue and LY83583 and reduced to a lesser extent ([approximate]25%) by the inhibitor of cGMP-dependent kinase, KT 5823. In contrast, NO-induced dilatation (by NO donors and endogenous NO after stimulation with bradykinin) was substantially ([approximate]70%) diminished by the KCa channel blockers tetraethylammonium (TEA), charybdotoxin, and iberiotoxin; by the cyclooxygenase inhibitors indomethacin and ibuprofen; by the prostaglandin I (PGI2) synthase inhibitor trans-2-phenyl cyclopropylamine (TPC); and by the removal of endothelium; whereas relaxation of endothelium-denuded vasculature to SNP was unaltered by indomethacin, TPC, and charybdotoxin but was nearly nullified by methylene blue and the Kv channel blocker 4-aminopyridine. NO donors significantly increased PGI2 synthesis and the putative PGI2 receptor-coupled second messenger cAMP, from ocular vasculature (retinal microvessels and choroidal perfusate), and this increase in PGI2 formation was markedly reduced by TPC, tetraethylammonium, charybdotoxin, and/or the removal of endothelium, but it was only slightly reduced by methylene blue and LY83583. Also, SNP and KCa channel openers NS1619 and NS004 caused an increase in PGI2 synthesis in cultured endothelial cells, which was virtually abolished by KCa blockers. Finally, vasorelaxation to a cGMP analogue, 8-bromo cGMP, and protein kinase G stimulant beta-phenyl-1,N (2-etheno-8-bromoguanosine) 3[prime]:5[prime]-cyclic monophosphate was mostly K (v) dependent and, in contrast to NO, largely unrelated to PGI2 formation. In conclusion, data indicate that NO-induced ocular vasorelaxation is partly mediated by cGMP through its action on smooth muscle, and more importantly, by stimulating PGI2 formation of endothelial origin via a mechanism mostly independent of guanylate cyclase, which involves the opening of a KCa channel. (Circ Res. 1998;83:721-729.)

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